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  • socdeansintern 4:01 pm on October 28, 2020 Permalink  

    The World of Digital Political Communication During a Virtual Election Season 

    By Dean’s Intern Lizzy Tarallo at EMILY’s List

    Lizzy TaralloEvery day is a new adventure during my internship with EMILY’s List. As someone who is so passionate about electing Democratic women up and down the ticket, I feel honored to be working with the nation’s largest resource for women in politics during this crucial election year.

    Our main goals for this election are to elect women who will flip the Senate, elect women to the House who will maintain the Democratic majority, and to have the first-ever woman vice president, Sen. Kamala Harris, elected to office. As a Digital Intern, my days at EMILY’s List are packed with drafting social media content for an audience of over 130,000 Instagram followers and 170,000 Twitter followers. I also draft and help send out text messages for our robust texting program, which helps us to fundraise and engage with our members. I am also part of the Results Team. This means I will be working all day on Election Day and the week after to help send texts to thousands of subscribers who want to hear results about the local, state, and federal elections they care about.

    Even though everything is virtual due to the coronavirus, I am still able to attend Q&A sessions and trainings with EMILY’s List staff members. I was able to ask a question to the president of EMILY’s List, Stephanie Schriock, and she gave me some great advice for my future. I have also learned a lot about political campaigns and how large political action committees operate.

    I have loved every moment of my internship so far. It’s so rewarding to spend time drafting content and know that so many people are going to see it. I’m definitely getting a lot of preparation for a career in digital political communications. I can’t wait to see all of our hard work pay off when women across the country win their races!

  • socdeansintern 8:36 pm on October 8, 2020 Permalink  

    From My Home To Yours 

    By Dean’s Intern Katie Kolczun at Smithsonian Associates

    Katie KolczunThis semester I’m working as the Social Media Intern for the Smithsonian Associates. It has been such an incredible experience to engage with a large audience and to be a part of such a fantastic institution. It has also been interesting to work for the Smithsonian Associates during their switch to virtual programming. It’s been really incredible to see this shift, as not only do we get to engage with the D.C. community, but now the programming is easily accessible nationally and even globally which has created a much larger audience. I have always been a big advocate for education and the arts, so it’s fantastic to be helping bring a bit of creativity and learning straight into the homes of people who may have never had the opportunity to visit D.C.

    My day primarily consists of drafting posts for social media and posting event listings. I also do research about programs and upcoming guests, finding other complimenting works that might be appealing to audiences. I have some prior experience in public relations working with social media, but it’s always a fun challenge to adapt and gain an understanding of a company’s public voice.

    Although my internship has been remote, I still have been able to connect and reach out to other colleagues to learn about their experience and ask their advice. I have really been able to dive deeper in learning about public relations and marketing, but I have also gotten to learn about other fields of interest and make new connections which has been extremely helpful in furthering my professional development.

    To see what I help work on throughout the semester follow the Smithsonian Associates on Twitter (@SmithsonianSA), Facebook and Instagram  (@smithsonianassociates).

  • socdeansintern 1:12 pm on October 8, 2020 Permalink  

    Aiding Policy-Relevant Reporting During COVID, 2020 Election and Social Unrest 

    By Dean’s Intern Kaela Roeder at The National Press Foundation

    GraceGeorgeSince August, I have been working as an intern at the National Press Foundation, and assisting the team in “making good journalists better,” while also bettering my own understanding of complex and relevant issues that are essential to report on in 2020.

    Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the foundation has transitioned all of its normal training programs for journalists online, and is producing programming on important topics for journalists to report on such as poverty and inequality, national security and trade.

    I’ve had the opportunity to conduct research on the programs, write articles on the briefings and handle the foundation’s social media accounts. I recently wrote on the program “American’s Child Care System in Crisis,” which was a briefing focused on the lack of accessible childcare in the United States and the unsustainable system.

    Each day is quite different from the previous, which is to be expected from an organization focused on the news. But, an average day starts with checking Twitter and posting on the foundation’s social media accounts. From there, I search for recent work published by journalists who use our programs as a resource in reporting, research topics and resources to pair with the briefings and assist with administrative tasks to help the team.

    While I have never physically met the rest of the team at NPF in person or visited the office, I have learned a great deal on the importance of policy-relevant and comprehensive reporting. This internship has not only taught me skills in research and social media but also on the topics taught to journalists, like how to report on the upcoming election and technology. I look forward to taking both points of knowledge to future internships and in my career.

  • socdeansintern 1:09 pm on October 8, 2020 Permalink  

    Transitioning to Covering Public Media 

    By Dean’s Intern Spencer Nusbaum at Current

    Spencer NusbaumMy time with Current has been a masterclass in professional, on-the-clock reporting. Before starting at Current, I spent most of my time editing, pitching, and filing sports stories for The Eagle and High Post Hoops. I’ve been surprised by how seamless the transition was to covering public media. I’ve always found interest in the stories about people within the sports world. So my passion, learning and listening to people, hasn’t changed. The people have changed.

    I’ve spoken to some amazing reporters and producers at ‘Black in Appalachia’ and the ‘Every 30 Seconds’ project. I’ve got a project cooking now that involves lots of Excel work, and don’t want to give too much away on its contents. But working with data is something I’ve always loved doing, and Current has given me the guidance and support to work through a variety of projects and pitches.

    If anything, interning at Current has taught me how to look for every hole in a story. Let me tell you — if there is a fragment of a fact, an unanswered question, or an unnecessary sentence in my drafts — these editors will catch it. It’s made me a better interviewer, a better writer, and a better editor. Public media is one of the most important institutions in our country, and the Current works incredibly hard to make sure we are telling its stories, informing its employees, and holding it accountable when necessary. I’m happy to be part of the team.

  • socdeansintern 1:54 pm on October 6, 2020 Permalink  

    The Public Media Beat 

    By Dean’s Intern Grace George at Current

    Grace GeorgeMy internship with Current has been such a productive learning experience that has helped me become a better writer and reporter. I have been able to learn so much working in the public media beat. I have interviewed such interesting people, and I have been able to cover programming that serves a variety of communities. I have also had to adjust to working in the public media beat. While I still have much to learn, I have enjoyed immersing myself in this beat and keeping up to date on the news in public media. Even though I have only met them virtually, my editors and fellow writers at Current have been inviting and helpful while I have adjusted to my new role as editorial intern. I continue to learn at Current every day, and I am excited for the future stories and reporting I will do here.


  • socdeansintern 11:16 am on July 29, 2020 Permalink  

    News In the Time of Covid 

    By Dean’s Intern Kelsey Carolan at CBS This Morning

    Kelsey Caloran

    I’m Kelsey Carolan and I interned for the medical unit on CBS This Morning this summer! CBS This Morning is CBS’ weekday morning show that emphasizes national and international news, hosted by Gayle King, Anthony Mason and Tony Dokoupil. During my time with the show, I participated in production meetings, pitched stories, researched news to be featured in our stories and found people to interview.

    I never really expected to learn so much about the coronavirus during such a short amount of time. Since I interned with the medical team, I worked on features about the lingering symptoms that COVID survivors were dealing with and the mental health of healthcare workers. Through trying to find people to interview and researching new developments of the virus as well as watching different Q&As, I learned so much more than I already knew about the pandemic and how multi-faceted it is. Reporting on it simply is not about just reporting statistics and the facts – it is about how schools are going to reopen, how nurses are handling long shifts, how survivors are still crippled with symptoms that may last for a long time and so much more. I realized how many important stories can come out of this pandemic – sad and extremely personal ones – and through this, how important it is to seek out stories that may not be known or thought about.

    Each day, I was able to join one of the production Zoom meetings. I looked forward to these because I got to learn what it would be like to be a producer on a network show and what the process of pitching, scheduling and booking is like. I even pitched two of my own stories! While I am trained in print (and was intimidated at first), I quickly realized that working on a show like this is something I really want to do now. Without this experience, I don’t think I would have figured that out.

    Another aspect of the internship program that I loved were the Zoom calls with CBS News legends like journalists Susan Zirinsky (an AU alum!), Jim Axelrod, Steve Hartman and many more. It was great to get advice from professionals who have spent so much time in the field and have really seen it all throughout their careers (Z basically has reported on every event from Watergate to Tinanmen Square to 9/11 so she had amazing stories).

    I am extremely grateful that CBS continued with a virtual internship program this summer and I hope to return to the network one day!

    Link to story I helped work on: https://www.cbs.com/shows/cbs_this_morning/video/dMGGGuBu5_2zKFympRRqz3wAIgqyu9Tc/covid-19-survivors-report-debilitating-physical-and-mental-symptoms-months-after-testing-negative/

  • socdeansintern 11:14 am on July 29, 2020 Permalink  

    Public Media’s Role During a Pandemic and Social Justice Unrest 

    By Dean’s Intern Sasha Fernandez at Current

    Sasha FernandezHello! My name is Sasha Fernandez and I am one of two editorial interns at Current. While I started my position in the midst of the pandemic, working remotely at this publication has been an amazing opportunity and has trained me in professional reporting. As part of my role, I am responsible for pitching my own stories, doing independent research, conducting interviews, and writing articles. Since I joined Current in May, I have written fifteen stories!

    While at Current, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing hosts that I’ve listened to for several years including NPR’s Rachel Martin and In the Dark’s Madeleine Baran. I have also learned more about policy within public media including how reporters are protected in the field while covering riots and how stations write rules related to social media use for their employees.

    I even got to work on an enterprise story about a radio station that had an issue with retaining women of color on their staff and the editor allegedly responsible for perpetuating an abusive work culture. While my time at Current has included some difficult stories related to harassment in the workplace that I had to handle with care, I have also pursued more lighthearted subjects.

    One time, I interviewed James Beard award-winning Chef Lidia Bastianich about an at-home cooking program she initiated for PBS. I had never heard of her before, and I was very nervous about speaking with someone as accomplished as her. My nerves were swept aside as she was kind, forthcoming, and enthusiastic about sharing her life story with me. I was then able to write a story about her fairly easily.

    Later, after the story was published, I went to my local grocery store to pick up some pizza fixings when I saw Chef Bastianich’s face on a bunch of jars of Italian sauce! I was totally gobsmacked. While the experience at the grocery store was completely surreal, it made me grateful that I got to speak to her and that my editor at Current trusted me to thoughtfully write that story.

  • socdeansintern 4:01 pm on July 20, 2020 Permalink  

    Public Media in the Time of Covid 

    By Dean’s Intern Grace Vitaglione at Current

    I’m Grace Vitaglione, and I’m one of two editorial interns working for Current this summer! I was lucky enough to have my spring internship with Current extended throughout the summer and continue my work reportingGrace Vitaglione on news in public media. This gave me the opportunity to keep honing my reporting skills and to connect with even more public media journalists.

    My favorite part of this internship is getting to talk to the people who I hope to work alongside one day in public media. It’s also been interesting to see how stations are rising to meet the challenges of the coronavirus lockdown, from holding virtual graduations to expanding local coverage of the pandemic. Many stations in remote areas are the only source of local news about how the coronavirus is affecting their town, and some are struggling to find the resources necessary to do so as funds drop.

    But within the struggles of the past three months, there have also been a lot of fun memories. I watched high school students dance over Zoom in a virtual prom held by one radio station, talked to legendary film director Stanley Nelson about a revamp of his debut film and listened to a station’s collection of quarantine haiku sent in by listeners, which ranged from silly to thoughtful.

    I’m very grateful to have had this opportunity, and hope to carry the lessons I’ve learned from my time at Current onwards into my journalism career!

    Here is my staff profile at Current: https://current.org/author/grace-vitaglione/

  • socdeansintern 10:24 am on May 4, 2020 Permalink  

    Learning the Investigative Ropes at Voice of America 

    By Dean’s Intern Katherine Long at Voice of America

    KatherineLongIn January I began my internship at Voice of America, where I worked alongside the Investigative Unit team. For the next few months I spent my days gathering research, making pitches and joining in on occasional town hall meetings and tours.

    The team stressed that it was important for me to pick a topic that was interesting and meaningful for me to research and write about. With their aid, I began writing a piece on student media censorship within universities and how our current political climate impacts the way student journalists are treated. I interviewed students from various college publications across the U.S. and conducted research on how student journalism has changed within the past five years. This also allowed me to work with editors and writers at the Press Freedom desk.

    Outside of working on the article, I had the opportunity to attend town halls and other meetings where I got to watch writers and editors in their element. In one of my favorite meetings the investigative team showcased a new documentary series they worked on detailed three stories of individuals living in the U.S. through the J1-Visa, highlighting the pros and cons of the program. This was an exciting way to learn and understand how the investigative team conducts and executes their work.

    While my time at Voice of America was cut short due to COVID-19, I feel lucky to have had the experience of working in a newsroom and getting an understanding of what real world reporting is like. I am continuing to write my article and am pushing through the challenges of writing and reporting online. Although it is unfortunate that my time at VOA came to a sudden halt, I am thankful for the experiences and lessons I learned throughout my time there. This being my first internship, I am excited for the opportunities to come and will take what I have learned and apply it to my future journalism work.

  • socdeansintern 3:33 pm on April 28, 2020 Permalink  

    Making an Impact with Local News Reporting 

    By Dean’s Intern Emily Hayes at The Durango Herald

    Emily HayesFour months ago, I started an internship with a community newspaper based in Durango, Colorado called The Durango Herald. I’ve been working as their Washington DC correspondent, covering the Colorado congressional delegation and legislation that affects Southwest Colorado.

    Since then, I’ve published 57 articles with the Herald, with the help of Shane Benjamin, the deputy editor. In this blog post, I wanted to share what I’ve learned from the experience, especially reporting on the Covid-19 pandemic.

    We all experienced a dramatic shift in how we live our daily lives over the past few months. Information sharing on Covid-19 through print and digital news outlets became increasingly vital. With so much uncertainty, and different rules depending on which state or county you live in, localized news has also proved to be essential.

    Local news contextualizes important decisions coming from the federal level and explains to people how it will affect them. As journalists, we should strive to have this kind of impact in every community. There really are stories everywhere. We should not let local news outlets fade into the background.

    When I cover legislation coming out of Congress to support small businesses and hospitals, I identify safety nets that are especially important to the readership of the Herald. Then, I reach out to state and local organizations for more information specialized to the community. During such a chaotic time, it is important for people to have clear explanations and guidance on where they can access the support they need.

    For example, under new legislation from Congress passed last week, farmers and ranchers are now able to apply for economic injury loans from the Small Business Association. The USDA also set aside $19 billion to support agriculture workers struggling from the impacts of Covid-19, $3 billion of which will be used to buy excess products that aren’t purchased in grocery stores. Theoretically, that food will be donated to food banks, where people who are struggling to pay for food because they are employed can receive free products for their families.

    To get more information on how soon this program will be implemented, and what implementation might look like, I speak with senators and representatives from Colorado. Then I reach out to local officials at the Colorado Farm Bureau to get a balanced look at the situation, and obtain more information on how agricultural workers in the state can access the financial support. Of course, talking to the farmers and ranchers themselves is also important.

    As students at a university in Washington, D.C., we are lucky to have easy access to so many more resources than most college students in the country. We also feel the pressure to get a job working at a big name, national publication. Professors often tout the student who got the job at The New York Times or The Washington Post.

    Don’t get me wrong – those publications are obviously doing important work.

    But the lesson is this: you can have an important, valuable impact wherever you are. In fact, the people who get overlooked are the people who need your reporting the most.

    The silver lining from Covid-19 is that people are starting to learn what is truly important again: family, friends, taking the time for self-care, exercising, getting out into nature.

    We’re also relearning how important local news is. But unfortunately, the financial impact of Covid-19 is taking a toll on local news outlets. Please support them. They are telling you about your state and your town’s businesses and stay-at-home rules.

    And if you don’t get the job you imagined right out of school, remember you are just starting. Be open to the opportunities around you. Make an impact where you are. Unfortunately, stories abound, especially now.

    As my great grandmother always said: “No one said it was going to be easy, kid.”

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